‘I am innocent,’ Anthony Sanchez's final words before execution for 1996 murder of Oklahoma student Juli Busken
Anthony Sanchez executed for rape and murder of University of Oklahoma student; maintains innocence until the end.
“I am innocent.”
“I didn’t kill nobody.” Those were the last words of Anthony Sanchez, 44, who was found guilty of raping and killing a University of Oklahoma dance student in 1996, and was executed by lethal injection on Thursday, September 21, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
He maintained his innocence until the end before he died at 10.19 a.m. CDT, according to the Associated Press.
The victim, Juli Busken, was a 21-year-old Arkansas native who had just graduated from her last semester. She was kidnapped from the parking lot of her Norman apartment complex on December 20, 1996, and then murdered. Her body was found near a lake in southeast Oklahoma City, with signs of rape and a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
The case remained cold for years until DNA evidence from the crime scene matched Sanchez, who was already in prison for burglary.
Anthony spoke to News 4 over the phone two days before his execution and said, “At the end of the day, nobody escapes death, nobody.”
The death-row inmate expressed his sympathy for the family of Juli Busken, whom he was convicted of raping and killing in 1996.
“I can’t even imagine how they feel when they hear the name ‘Anthony Sanchez.’ If this is what they believe they need to do, to kill me to move on, I’m happy for them,” he said.
Anthony’s lawyer, Eric Allen of Columbus, Ohio, tried to delay the execution by asking a federal court for more time to review boxes of evidence in the case. But, the Supreme Court rejected his request on Thursday, September 21.
The execution of Anthony may have brought some closure to the victim’s family. The family’s attorney said that it was a long-awaited justice for Busken.
However, none of the family members of Busken were reportedly present at the execution.
“Justice was served today for Juli Busken nearly 27 years after her life tragically was taken,” State Attorney General Gentner Drummond said in a statement, as reported by CBS News.
“My hope is that today can bring some measure of peace to her family and friends,” Drummond added.
Anthony Sanchez enjoyed a final meal before his execution
Before he was executed by lethal injection, Sanchez had a last meal of chicken fried steak, fried okra, mashed potatoes, and gravy, a roll, sweet iced tea, and apple pie with vanilla ice cream, according to a report from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
He was the third prisoner to be put to death by lethal injection in Oklahoma this year.